Published on 3 November 2023

Enchanted Autumn in the Woodlands of Piceno: Discover the Wonders of Marche Region with Us!

Enchanted Autumn in the Woodlands of Piceno: Discover the Wonders of Marche Region with Us!

A Season of Majestic Splendor and Adventurous Exploration

Autumn in the Woods of Piceno: History and Legend of the Chestnut

It is said that one day, while admiring the majesty and beauty of the mountains, God was inspired to create a tree that could thrive in this environment: the chestnut tree. Chestnuts grew abundantly on the mountainsides, offering their fruits with tough, round husks that enclosed the chestnuts.

The hunger of the mountain dwellers seemed to be vanquished when the devil decided to interfere and make it difficult for humans to harvest the “mountain’s grain.” He blew and huffed on the husks of the chestnuts, covering them with sharp thorns. God intervened again, trying to remedy the diabolical action, blessing the chestnut and causing the thorns to, while remaining sharp, split into a cross shape and, when falling, open into four parts. Since then, the fruit falls, shelling itself, and people only need to gather them!

Legends aside, the chestnut has always been the king of the mountains, providing sustenance for people, serving in farming, and its wood being useful for construction and heating.

Chestnuts in the woods of Piceno

Piceno is one of the areas with the highest concentration of chestnut forests, stretching from the Monti della Laga to the Lost Apennines. Unfortunately, the region was severely affected by the earthquakes of 2016, and many villages and hamlets were compromised. However, the resilience of the mountain men and women is strong, and the territory is slowly but surely recovering!

The Forgotten Forest

For centuries, the economy in these areas revolved around chestnut groves, but with depopulation, the forests were abandoned.

Over the years, these people were able to understand the development potential of the forests and became true entrepreneurs of the mountains. They responded to market demands, especially from the confectionery industry, and with the support of institutions, they incentivized the production of “marroni” (a superior type of chestnut).

The “marrone” is considered a more flavorful and sought-after product than the regular chestnut, and this led to the transformation of dense chestnut forests into rich “marrone” production areas through grafting. The superiority of the marrone is undeniable; even the wild boars, now more abundant in our forests than ever, are aware of this and choose to eat the more exquisite variety!

In these forests located between the Monti della Laga, the Lost Apennines, and the Monti Sibillini, in autumn, the chestnut reigns, announcing the arrival of winter. Weekends in October and November are dedicated to this precious forest fruit, the key ingredient in countless recipes and refined desserts. With easy excursions among centuries-old chestnut trees, you can rediscover the magical and tranquil atmosphere of the woods, admire the wonderful autumn colors, participate in chestnut picking, and savor dishes made from chestnuts and “marroni”, following the most typical gastronomic tradition of the Marche region.

The chestnut has always been considered a beneficial fruit for health, and even Virgil, Pliny, and Galen praised its purifying properties. Click here to discover events dedicated to chestnuts in the Marche region.

If you’re considering a vacation in the Marche region, you’re in the right place. Read our article on what to do, see, and eat in the Marche region.

Why Choose Southern Marche for Your Next Vacation?

When it comes to planning your next vacation, the options are seemingly limitless. Italy, a country renowned for its captivating landscapes, rich culture, and delectable cuisine, offers a multitude of regions to explore. Among these gems, Southern Marche stands out as a hidden paradise, and in this article, we’ll delve into why you should consider it as your next vacation destination.

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